Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Community rallies to support family stunned by sudden loss

by By The Indiana Gazette on March 20, 2013 10:50 AM

Benefit pasta dinners are being served on Friday and again in April to assist the family of a young father killed in a farming accident last month.

Jason William Drew, 30, of Armstrong Township, died of head injuries after a tree limb he was trying to cut down unexpectedly snapped and came crashing down upon him. The accident occurred Feb. 24 in a leased farm field in Center Township.

Drew was an Indiana Area High School graduate and worked as a See World Satellites technician. He left behind his wife of seven years, Chelsea Byerly Drew, and their three young sons, Carter, Elliot and Sawyer.

The first dinner, being sponsored by 9th Street Deli and Young Brothers Tae Kwon-Do, takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Indiana Masonic Hall, 42 S. 11th St. On the menu are spaghetti and meatballs, rolls and dessert. Takeout will be available. The cost is $6 per person.

Organizers also are taking up a collection of cash, toys and gift cards for the boys.

Richelle McCabe, who owns the deli along with her husband, Steve, said she has been friends with the family and that her youngest son and the Drew's oldest son attend preschool together. She said that as a mother, she wanted to do something to help another mother.

Another of the organizers, Terry Anderson, of Young Brothers, said that although he didn't know the family, he could relate somewhat to their situation. He recalled working outdoors as a younger man without life insurance and said an accident could have very well ended his life, leaving his family to get by without him.

As such, he said he wanted to do something to help the family to get by. He said he is hopeful the community will support the dinner in droves.

The second dinner is being served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14 at Nap's Cucina Mia, 1033 Philadelphia St.

Participants will have their choice of pasta in a red or white sauce. Meatballs and salad may be added. Takeout orders will be available.

Chef Nick Karas said the restaurant wanted to do something to help support the family -- he graduated from Indiana Area with the Drews. And his fiancee's family is friends with the Byerly family, he said.

A charitable account set up for the family's benefit remains open.

Donations may be sent to American Funds, c/o S&T Bank, 800 Philadelphia St., Indiana PA 15701, Attn: Bill Simmons.

Donations also are being solicited through www.youcaring.com, an online fundraising site. An account benefiting the family, The Jason Drew Fund, listed $31,700 in donations as of this morning.

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